In a very surprising move, the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) has named the metro station adjacent to the Yuva Bharati Krirangan as the ‘Indian Football Association (IFA) Salt Lake Stadium’. This makes IFA the first ever football association in the world to have a metro station named after them.
West Bengal is known for its football crazy fans and this move from the KMRC just reconfirms the love for the game of football in the hearts of Bengalis. The IFA, founded in 1893 is one of the oldest sports associations in India and administers the game of football in West Bengal.
IFA is also set to have a kiosk inside the metro station to promote its brand.
“This is a result of many months of planning, follow ups, discussions and meetings. IFA will also have a kiosk inside the metro station,” said Joydeep Mukherjee, the secretary of IFA after the unveiling of the new station.
Mukherjee further added, “Football in Bengal is perhaps the biggest sentiment which binds everyone together in the state. We see this as a big honour for all stakeholders involved with the game. This is our city, this is our sport,” while thanking KMRC for their gesture.
The senior vice president of All India Football Federation (AIFF) emphasised on the relationship between the public transports of Kolkata and football while showing his gratitude towards KMRC.
“Over the decades, fans mostly have used public transport in Kolkata to travel to the stadiums. The naming of the station to IFA Salt Lake Stadium will present a further sense of oneness to all the fans who have been the real stars of football. I see this as a unique initiative which will further help in connecting the fans at a faster pace to the rapidly changing football landscape in Bengal," said Dutta.